Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 153) Quiet

Pulling on the lever to open the shelf and expose the ladder to the hidden room, Carl waves at Nadja as he places his feet on the first wooden rung. Soon the glow from the light below shines up through the opening and within seconds, the hatch begins to close. Slowly the lights fade into a slight sliver near the bottom of the shelving unit. After several seconds, which is enough time for Carl to walk over to the next switch as he enters the tunnel, the thin line of light under the door goes out completely. Taking in a deep breath, Nadja turns and walks back into the kitchen where Viktor is reading the cooking instructions on a package of Japanese noodles.

“I bet you are hungry.” Nadja says as she walks up to him. “Hey, why didn’t you answer the last message I sent to you, no service in this part of the country?”

“None at all.” Viktor replies. “I lost my phone on the way up here from the train station.”

“Oh no! Really?” Nadja questions a bit surprised.

“See, I fell into the trap of becoming a tourist when I should have stayed focused.” Viktor says in a joking manner. “But no, I just had to get a photograph of that awesome lake.”

“Well it is hard to pass up such an opportunity.” Nadja grins. “What happened to cause you to lose your phone? Did a rogue eagle snatch it out of your hand?” She laughs.

“Well damn, that would have been really cool but no, I slipped and fell. . . several feet.” He shakes his head as if disgusted with himself.

“Are you serious?” Nadja quickly asks. “Are you okay?”

“It was quite a drop. Luckily, I landed on a ledge and from what I can tell, I lost about four hours of time. It knocked me completely out!” Viktor says with an animated expression. “I had to climb up by hanging onto roots of the trees. Good think I’m a master contortionist or I might still be huddling down there like a little kid.”

It is now that the cottage grows very quiet. The rain has completely turned over to thick wet fluffy snowflakes and it is falling at a rapid rate. It is as if neither Nadja nor Viktor can think of anything to say which makes them both feel awkward, but not exactly uneasy either.

“I’m going to check the fire.” Nadja says as she walks out of the room.

Viktor goes back to reading the cooking instructions but he is not retaining the process. He cannot stop thinking of how nice it is to finally meet the girl from his dreams. She seems very sweet and is as beautiful as he knew she would be. On the same note, Nadja is intrigued by this man who traveled very far, just to meet her and protect her from harm. They both wonder if this is some sort of conglomeration of fate.


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